Today the EuroTech Universities Alliance shared its views on the European Innovation Council (EIC) – by means of a Joint Statement with CESAER, IDEA League, CLUSTER and Nordic Five Tech (N5T). Together, the networks represent more than 50 leading European universities of science and technology from 24 countries and advocate for the following:
- The EIC should strengthen the role of universities with regard to disruptive innovation by adopting novel approaches to supporting innovation eco-systems and by funding bottom-up science-driven innovation projects which complement the existing European innovation funding instruments. It should not be designed as a one-stop-shop covering the entire innovation chain.
- The EIC can learn from the European Research Council (ERC), particularly with regard to lean and quick procedures and decision-making.
- An independent entity with a primarily executive function within the European Commission and governed by a high-level council is recommended.
- The EIC should bridge between the ERC (TRL 1 to 3) and venture capital and the European Investment Bank (EIB) (TRL 7 and higher).
- The EIC should offer a portfolio of instruments (TRL 4 to 6) to support innovation eco-systems, a Proof of Concept (PoC) scheme and funding to develop scalability options and high risk and high gain science-driven business ideas for product and services innovation.
- The EIC should set clear criteria for evaluating excellent innovation, as well as carefully monitor the outcome of funded projects and highlight successes.
- The different roles of the various European innovation initiatives – such as the EIC, EUREKA, the European Institute for Technology (EIT), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and ERC PoC – need to be further clarified.
- The EIC should aim to become a `seal of excellence` and leverage more private and public funds for innovation. It should not be funded from the existing Horizon 2020 budget.
The EuroTech Universities cover the entire value chain from entrepreneurship and innovation-related knowledge generation, awareness-raising, education and training of students and scientists to patent applications, international business development and investment in start-ups. The EuroTech Universities Alliance is a unique framework to exchange and promote innovation & entrepreneurship activities across borders and has defined Entrepreneurship & Innovation as one of its key focus areas for strategic collaboration. EuroTech Universities experts are keen to continue sharing ideas on EIC instruments as they take shape, in particular as regards Proof of Concept schemes, Scalability programmes & Procurement instruments. For more information on the joint statement as well as EuroTech Universities activities and experts, please contact Emily Palmer, Head of the Brussels Office.